Dark Wonderland

by Tiffany Kennedy

Let’s talk Maticevski.

“Renowned Australian fashion designer Toni Maticveski has achieved international acclaim for his dexterous ability to morph, adapt and defy the boundaries of fashion.”

– Bendigo Art Gallery

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Seeing these pieces, strangely, is like seeing a work of art. I hear it all the time, fashion is art and art can be fashion, yet it’s not so obvious until you see works such as Maticveski’s. Adapting and defying the boundaries of fashion, Maticevski’s obsession with detail is so noticeable through his Dark Wonderland exhibition. Filled with pieces from his personal archive, these garments tend to sculpt a beautiful shape that’s not just ethereal but godly.

mdsc_0212When I headed down to Bendigo, which was (what I assumed to be) a two hour (or three hour) drive from the airport, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I assumed that it’d be much like Bunbury in Western Australia, and then I remembered that I hadn’t been to Bunbury in over 6 years, so I couldn’t really compare the two. Bendigo itself was like a little city in many ways, with everything close together, just walking distance from each other, with various tattoo parlours and Grill’d just around the corner, but none of that really caught my attention, apart from the Bendigo Art Gallery. As soon as I checked into the apartment I would be staying in for the next few days, there was already a flyer there showing Maticevski’s work for his Dark Wonderland exhibition. I knew that if I had one moment of spare time, I would be heading that way, I almost cried when I stepped into the building (I have no idea why everything was just overwhelming and so pretty).

mdsc_0235Every single piece felt as though it had something to say, not just about its own design, but about the person who decides to wear it. It was quite incredible to see such gowns, like a true wonderland, we all wondered about the designs themselves, and the stories that surround each and every one. Every detail seemed perfect which is insane, because where can that perfection possibly come from, yet they all were. Knowing that I did have a university assignment coming up that I had to push to get done (it was due the moment I landed), and seeing these designs, followed my exact train of thought when it came to this project. Gods, and Goddesses. These designs were insane, they were made for creatures that don’t even belong on this earth, yet these creatures do exist, with the utmost confidence and godly features, whether that’s their looks or more importantly the way they act. I can’t believe something so precious fell into my lap. I photographed every piece and every piece was displayed perfectly for me to photograph. I don’t think I’ve ever been to an exhibition that has held so much detail and interest. I know I’m rambling, but I seriously could go on for days about Maticevski’s designs – I almost wore one of his items to my own Ball, which is probably why I’m so obsessed. I just honestly never thought I’d be able to explore a wonderland designed by Maticevski with dark twists and turns, yet there I was.

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So, here’s to the Dark Wonderland and all of its fascinations.

Shot on a Nikon D3200.

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